|Update: Pile Up|
May 15, 2020
Rail carts are now much more robust, flexible, and useful, mainly because they crash and derail in far fewer situations than before, but also because they can be manually sent in the opposite direction mid-run.
Before, if a moving cart didn't have an empty section of rail out in front of it, it would derail. This made some sense, because the cart was crashing. Players learned to work around this by having only one cart on a given section of track, to make crashes impossible. Other players were trying to put multiple carts on the same loop of track. If the carts kept going round and round, they'd never hit each other. However, subtleties in the timing code server-side sometimes made one cart move before the others (depending on who was looking at what part of the map), and these advances would accumulate over time until the carts eventually crashed. But even if loops weren't a problem, the limitation of only one cart on a linear track was huge, mostly because long tracks are very expensive to build, and a single cart carries so little.
Now, if a cart would otherwise hit another cart ahead of it, it just stops and waits, and continues moving if that other cart ever gets out of the way. If two carts have a head-on collision, this means they get stuck pushing against each other. And this is where the second new feature comes in: click a cart with your bare hand to cause it to reverse direction. Two stuck head-on carts can be freed in this way. Furthermore, a bunch of carts can pile up on one end of the track, allowing new carts to launch from the other end. Thus, a single linear section of track can now have an unlimited number of carts (of course, if you fill the entire track with carts, it's not going to be very useful).
In a pile up situation at the end of a track, clicking the carts one by one will send them back in the other direction.
A bunch of improvements and new features have been added to the leadership and inheritance system. First, you now have /LEADER, /FOLLOWER, and /ALLY chat commands, which put markers above the heads of the target people, and also give you your current follower and ally count.
To reduce the chance of bad leaders being chosen by default, inheritance now picks the most genetically fit follower instead of the oldest. The idea is that griefers don't do a very good job of keeping their family members alive, so they won't be chosen as default leaders very often. A similar change has been made for property inheritance, where your most fit offspring or relative is chosen.
You get a DING message now when you are exiled or redeemed by a leader that you follow, and are also informed of your current ally count when this happens. This gives you fair warning that things are going south for you in the area, and that people may be planning to kill you.
The bug causing stale bell tower locations to be passed down through many generations has been fixed.